Essex Catholic Alumni News

Meeting @ Mr Naclerio's House

ECHS Events Committee Meeting

Wednesday, March 6th @ 7pm. Contact us at if you would like to attend and/or become a committee member?

Class of 1969: 50th Year Reunion

Class of 1969 Reunion 

Questions: Contact Phil Nufrio  (

37th Annual ECHS Foundation Hall of Fame Dinner


Date: Saturday, November 17, 2018 @ 6pm

Location: The Mansion at Mountain Lakes, NJ

Theme: Very excited to celebrate the history of BF Essex Catholic & announce the Hall of Fame Class of 2018:


2018 Hall of Fame Inductees, in order of graduating year:


Phil Nufrio, Class of 1969 

Don Hart, Class of 1971 

Jim Swift, Class of 1972

Ed Gibney, Class of 1975 

Mark Miller, Class of 1978 

Jubba Seyyid, Class of 1988 


Honored: 1973 Varsity Wrestling Team

Honored Alumni: Frank Choppy, Class of 1971


2018 Essex Catholic Golf Challenge

On Monday, September 17th, over 40 Essex Catholic Alumni and friends participated in the 2nd Annual Essex Catholic Challenge. An event that started as a challenge from the Alumni of the 80's & 90's to the distinguished alumni of the 60's & 70's.  A span of 24 years from the class of ’62 to the class of ’86 was on the course and at the Huddy’s 19th hole.


Special thanks to Bob Heugle'71, Greg Stewart'71  and Ed Chafart'84

Attached are  photos of the early arrivals of golfers at Hominy Hill. Our photographer extraordinaire Sebastian Palmeri'66  shared the many additional photos taken at the 19th hole. 







  1. Three annual scholarships will be awarded by September 1, 2018 as follows:
  • The ECHS Foundation will award competitive scholarships totaling $3,000 to children or grandchildren of Essex Catholic HS or Bishop Francis Essex Catholic HS alumni. In addition, only those who are accepted and will be entering grades 9 through 12 in any Roman Catholic HS in the US in September 2018 are eligible.
  • The Foundation will also donate $2500 to the Christ the King Preparatory School, Newark, NJ to provide scholarships to accepted students entering grade 9 through 12 in September 2018

The ECHS Foundation's Scholarship Committee must receive the application no later than midnight, August 1, 2018. Submit your application online or mail applications and all letters  to:
Essex Catholic High School Foundation Scholarship
c/o Decker Tape
2 Stewart Place
Fairfield, New Jersey 07004



ECHS Scholarship Application Process 2018
Microsoft Word document [20.8 KB]

300 Broadway  Reception & Tour 2018


Date: Friday, January 19, 2018

Time: 6:00pm - 8:00pm


As a tribute to Alumni that attended from 1957 to 1980, the Essex Catholic High Foundation is proud to sponsor the 300 Broadway Reception & Tour.  Details  to follow shortly.

2017 Alumni Dinner Journal

Every year at the Annual Alumni / Hall of Fame Dinner, the Essex Catholic Foundation publishes a Dinner Journal which contains, biographies, history and advertisers who are part of the 'living' history of Essex Catholic High School. 


In 2017, the support of the Essex Catholic community was overwhelming as we inducted 7 individuals and two sports team into the Essex Catholic Hall of Fame. A copy of the journal is provided for your review.......


2017 Alumni /Hall of Fame Dinner a Success Story

On Saturday, November 20th, over 250 of the Alumni, Friends & Families of Essex Catholic High School united at the Mansion at Mountain Lakes to celebrate the history and the legacy of our great prestigous school. 





The event started with a cocktail hour and culminated with the induction of 10 new members into the Essex Catholic High School Hallof Fame:


Dr. Vincent Castellano DMD '69

Robert Huegle Esq.'71

Dr. Kevin Banks Ph.D'75

Larry Johnson Esq'75

Al Matos'76

Mr. Kesner Dufresne '92, honored posthumously
Nick Frannicola '76, honored posthumously
• Wayne Krause '67
• Al Matos '76
• Bob Palestina '77


Honored Teams: 
1977 Cross Country Team
1977 Indoor Two-Mile Relay Team


Attention: Brother Eagles of the 50th anniversary Class of 1967



Please see Class reunions for more details...............




The annual Hall of Fame dinner will be the following night.

Those coming from out of state won't have to make two trips.


2017 ECHS Annual Alumni Hall of Fame Dinner

Save the Date:

Saturday, November 18, 2017

At the Mansion @ Mountain Lakes.

Event (networking) starts at 6:00pm

Dinner begins at 7:30pm

(Alumni, supporters, faculty & friends)

 To Purchase Tickets, click on button

This year's Honorees
• Dr. Kevin Banks '75
• Vincent Castellano DMD '69
• Kesner Dufresne '92, honored posthumously
• Nick Frannicola '76, honored posthumously
• Robert Heugle, Jr. Esq. '71
• Larry Johnson Esq. '75
• Wayne Krause '67
• Al Matos '76
• Bob Palestina '77

Honored Teams: 
* 1977 Cross Country Team
* 1977 Two Mile Relay Team

As part of the Annual Alumni Dinner 2017, the Dinner Committee is publishing a Journal of the event; we ask your support by placing an ad. 


All profits from the Journal are used to promote catholic education via the ECHS Foundation Scholarship Fund. Over the past 6 years, we have supported young men and women as they completed their catholic high school education.....



Ad Journal Prices

• Back Cover $750.00
• Inside Front Cover $500.00
• Inside Back Cover $500.00
• Gold pages $400.00
• Silver pages $300.00
• Full pages $200.00
• Half pages $100.00
• Patron/Business Card $50.00


When you purchase an ad in the Hall of Fame Dinner Journal you can either use a prior ad you placed, or you can ask to be contacted by phone or email by one of the Journal editors to gather all of the information to make the purchase a positive experience with a professional result. 


Please contact us at


On Friday, May 13th a group of loyal and supportive Essex Catholic Alumni and friends gathered for the 2nd Annual Eagle Open held at the Galloping Hill Country Club in Kenilworth, NJ. The event was held to benefit Christ the King Prep's Athletic program. The event was organized by Nick Grosch'71 and the Athletic Staff of Christ the King. 

Anthony Gerard Racioppi (Class of 1962) Genial owner and counter fixture at landmark Summit deli, served with Marines in Vietnam War,  of Bernardsville, N.J., passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his loving family, on Tuesday, March 8, 2016. He was 71 years old. Visitation were held on Thursday, March 10, 2016, from 3 to 8 p.m. at Gallaway and Crane Funeral Home, 101 S. Finley Ave., Basking Ridge, N.J.  Anthony graduated from Essex Catholic in Newark, N.J., and St. Peter's College in Jersey City, N.J. He served in the Vietnam War as corporal in the United States Marine Corps and was awarded National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and Vietnam Campaign Medal. Anthony's career began at Shearson, Hammill & Co. in New York, N.Y., and he finished his career as the proprietor of the Hill City Delicatessen in Summit, N.J. For 42 years, Anthony was a staple at the Hill City Delicatessen counter, serving up his legendary Sloppy Joes and sage advice. His love of food came through in everything that was served in the deli as well as his waistline. He dedicated his professional life to serving the people of Summit and the surrounding areas, as well as fortifying lifelong friendships with his regular customers.

Nick Grosch (Class of 1971) is the lead guy for the Second Annual Eagle Open to benefit Christ the King Prep's Athletics.


This will be Friday May 13, 2016 at Galloping Hills C.C in Kennilworth, right off Exit 138 .


Last year at the inaugural outing 25 Essex graduates played, and more attended the luncheon.


This year we expect enough golfers to set up a friendly rivalry with Seton Hall and Immaculate, who will also be supporting Christ The King, a school we try to assist in any way possible. Details to follow. Get this on your calendar.


Any questions, contact Nick Grosch at

Wine and Tasting Memory......

Richard Holler (Class of 1973) and John Vitkovsky (Class of 1967)

Interesting back story: John became a music teacher and eventually director of the music program at Nutley High School.  Richard’s son Michael attended Nutley High School and was a member of the concert choir.  As a parent, Rick attended many events and also chaperoned many trips during Mike’s 4 years in school.  Rick and John had become teacher/parent friends, but their high school never came up.  Mike graduated in 2007.  John and Rick met at the beer and wine tasting and for the first time realized they attended the same high school.


Gregg Burnett (Class of 1972) was also in attendance that night.  A photographer took our picture, but I did not get one on my phone.  The irony here the fact that we married sisters.  We did not know each other during our years at Essex, but we have become good friends because our wives are sisters. Robert Ciampi (Class of 1964) also married their older sister.


Rich Holler'73

2015 Alumni Dinner Committee - gathering

2016 Reception @ 300 Broadway

Alton Williams Jr. (Class of 1975) was born on January 16, 1957 and passed away on Saturday, January 23, 2016.

Alton was a resident of Bound Brook, New Jersey at the time of his passing.

Alton was affectionately called Butch and attended Blessed Sacrament Elementary School in Newark NJ and graduated from Essex Catholic Boys High School in 1975.

Thomas Joseph Torsiello (Class of 1973) Formerly of Cedar Grave, passed away on Jan. 2, 2016. Thomas was a member of St. Francis Xavier Boy Scouts Troop 38, where he achieved Eagle Scout status. He was a gifted athlete at Essex Catholic High School and received varsity letters in football, baseball, and track and field. Thomas graduated from Kean University with a degree in physical education. While at Kean, he was a member of the fraternity Sigma Theta Chi. Thomas and his family moved from Cedar Grove, N.J., 13 years ago to Jupiter, Fla., where he continued his promotional business. 

Thomas McGranahan (Class of 1974) was born on January 4, 1956 and passed away on Wednesday, January 20, 2016.

Thomas was a resident of Montclair, New Jersey at the time of his passing. Mr. McGranahan was a graduate of Essex Catholic High School Class of 1974 and had attended Rutgers Livingston College. A Funeral Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Monday January 25 2016 at 11:00AM at St. Francis de Sales RC Church 614 Rt. 517 Vernon. Private cremation followed. 

In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to St. Francis de Sales RC Church P.O. Box 785 McAfee NJ 07428.

Joseph W. Kearney Jr. (Class of 1978), Longtime member of Technical Staff at Bell Labs, lived in Caldwell and Madison, 56 Joseph W. Kearney Jr., 56, died Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016, at his home in Palmer Township, Pa. Joseph is survived by his spouse, Mariann Kearney (nee Lamoreux). He was the son of Joseph W. Kearney Sr. and the late Mary Gallagher Kearney of Caldwell, N.J., and brother to Nancy M. Kearney of New York, N.Y. A native of Caldwell, Joseph graduated from St. Aloysius School and Essex Catholic High School in Newark, N.J. Afterward, he earned a B.S. in electronic engineering and an M.B.A. from New Jersey Institute of Technology. He was a 20-year employee and member of the technical staff at Bell Labs/Lucent Technologies in Murray Hill, N.J., and lived in Madison, N.J., before moving with the company to Orlando, Fla., and Pennsylvania. Joseph authored several articles on electric and magnetic semi-conductor variables and held patents for methods and apparatus to measure dielectric breakdown. Subsequently, he was a project manager at ASCO Power Technologies in Florham Park, N.J., and most recently was employed as a project manager for TASC in Chantilly, Va. Joseph was a volunteer fire- fighter with the Palmer Municipal Fire Department and a member of the Hazardous Materials Response Team, and was a pilot and member of the Aircraft Owner & Pilots Association.

Joseph Paul Grabowy (Class of 1964) 68, of Vineland, passed away peacefully on Friday, January 8, 2016 with his family by his side at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA. Joseph was born January 26, 1947, in Newark, NJ. He was the son of Paul and Margaret (Carraher) Grabowy. Joseph graduated from Essex Catholic High School in 1964. He obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree from Montclair State College. Joseph married Sally Ann Cole, on January 2, 1971, then shortly after moved to Vineland, NJ. He worked as a systems analyst for most of his career.

Joseph enjoyed traveling and taking cruises with his family. He was an active member of Christ the Good Shepard Parish and volunteered at Inspira Medical Center.


Hugh P. "Hugo" Evans, (Class of 1969) 64 of Howell passed away on Tuesday December 22 at Centra-State Medical Center, Freehold. Hugo was born and raised in Harrison, NJ and was a graduate of Essex Catholic High School. Hugo joined the United States Marine Corps and was a veteran serving during the Vietnam era. Upon completion of military service he worked for over 40 years in telephone communications for NJ Bell, Lucent and Converge One. Hugo was a member of the Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh, Belmar, Howell Elks, Irish American Club, and the Jersey Shore Marines. He was a huge fan and supporter of Notre Dame and Celtic Football Club.

Joseph Patrick "Joe" Donovan, 64, (Class of 1969) of Neptune Township, N.J., passed away from colon cancer, in the company of his family, on Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015, at Meridian's Sub-Acute Rehabilitation located in Wall, N.J. Joe was born on April 24, 1951, in Newark, N.J., and spent his childhood in Kearny, N.J., where he attended St. Cecilia's Grammar School, Essex Catholic High School, and eventually graduated Thomas Edison State College with a B.A. in business administration. On June 3, 1972, he was married in Holy Cross Church, Harrison, N.J. In 1977, Joe and his wife, Debbie, bought their home in Neptune Township where they became members of the St. Rose Parish, Belmar, and raised two lovely daughters. He spent his daughters' youth coaching Neptune Recreational T-Ball, softball, soccer and basketball. During Joe's 40-year career with PSEG, he made lifelong friends and held several positions finishing with (GSOC) as a computer analyst. Joe enjoyed following the N.Y. Giants and Rutgers, but the N.Y. Yankees were his passion. He loved to tell a joke and had a wonderful sense of humor. Joe will be sadly missed, but never forgotten.

Final Update.

Our annual Wine, Beer and Vodka Tasting and Reception at 300 Broadway is Friday February 5th. Details below. In the last two days we have added men from 1976, 1984 and 1991. The class with the most coming is 1969, followed by 1972 and 1980.


We will order the food Monday at 2:00 pm, so let us hear from you by then. Reply with your name, year and guests if any. See you there for a great time and a great cause:

34th Annual Essex Catholic Alumni Hall of Fame Dinner

Bruce Soriano, Essex Catholic Fencing Legend, Inducted into the Columbia University Hall of Hall


On Thursday, October, 23, 2014, Bruce Soriano will be inducted into the Colulmbia University Athletic Hall of Fame in New York City.


In just three years on the fencing strip at Columbia, Bruce Soriano (Essex Catholic Class of 1968) not only made his mark on the Lions' fencing program, but on the national stage.

The sabre fencer became the only man to ever win the NCAA individual championship in both his sophomore and junior years when he accomplished the feat in 1971. A year later, he made history again he captured the national championship crown for the third straight season to become the first collegiate fencer to win three NCAA individual crowns. The three-peat accomplishment is also a first for Columbia, as Soriano remains the lone Lion to boast three individual NCAA Championship titles.


At Essex Catholic, under the direction of Dr. D'Ambola, Bruce Soriano led the Sabre Team to its fourth straight State Championship and won the individual title in the same year.


According to the Dictionary of New York Sports: 

Bruce Soriano (Fencing.  Born, Newark, NJ, April 30, 1950.)  Perhaps the most dominating man in his weapon ever in the N.C.A.A. fencing championships, Columbia’s Bruce Soriano became the first fencer in tournament history to win the national title three straight years in any weapon.  Soriano captured the sabre championship in 1970, 1971, and 1972, moving through the tournament in Chicago, Ill., with a 22-1 record in his senior year.  In 1971, he helped Columbia tie (with N.Y.U.) for the national team championship.  That year, Soriano was 26-3 for the 9-1 Lions during the regular season and I.F.A. sabre champion.  He began fencing at Essex Catholic H.S. in New Jersey, where he was a three-letter winner and state champion (1968).  Soriano also won the Michigan State “Sabreur of the Year” trophy three times 

The History of Essex Catholic Fencing has been added to an on-line site:

E C Fencing Alumni

This web site is managed by Nicholas Franzi. 



Received an email from Bob Manning (Class of 1965) asking about a LOGIN for this site. There is no login since this website serves all Essex Catholic Alumni. As always we are proud to receive feedback from our great alumni and hope that Mr. Manning and all of the Class of 1965 continue to enjoy the posts on this site. As a tribute to Bob Mannings continued support of Essex Catholic, I have attached his graduation picture from the Talon'65.


Bob Manning's email:

In terms of Essex Catholic, our glorious high school only existed a short period of time; however, the rich history speaks out LOUD, long after our doors closed.


For the small Ecuadorian community that existed in Newark back in the 1970's, 80's and 90's, Essex Catholic became a symbol of opportunity and acceptance, it all started with Fausto Moyano'71 and continued with his brother Marcelo'76 (ECHS HoFer).


Along the way, their accomplishments allowed many in the Ecuadorian community to believe in a better life. After came the Vacacela brothers (Guido'79 and Julio'81), continued with the Alvarado brothers (Walter'81 and Juan'83). Also, they opened the doors for many of us including: Carlos Mancheno'79, Mario Chiluisa'83, the Viteri Brothers (Carlos'83 and Roy'84), myself (Ed Chafart'84), Steve Gomez'84, Juan Castillo'84, Tony Moran'84, the Acosta brothers (Ed'86 and Marlon'88), the Chafar brothers (Albert'86 and Joey'88) and many more......


Essex Catholic lives in our hearts and the EAGLE will soar forever.

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